Selling tickets for the subsequent year AT the festival?

Has PB ever considered selling tickets for the subsequent year at the festival? It would give priority to people who attend the festival and possibly alleviate the mess online. I would gladly secure my tickets for the 41st a year in advance if given the opportunity. Scalpers would be excluded, and any remaining tickets could then be sold online as usual.


I would like to purchase a lifetime pass, a nice laminated thing with my picture on it. You can just charge my card whenever you feel like PB!!! :lol

{{{{{sound of buzzer}}}}}

Wrong answer! Sorry, just couldn’t be on board with a system which explicitly gives a leg up to anyone.

Every system gives a leg up to someone. The current system gives a leg up to people with free time at 10 on a wednesday. I taught a class this morning and couldn’t buy tickets until afterwards and was lucky to get in. People with internet access are advantaged. So decisions have to be made about who should have a leg up and how to make it as fair as possible.

In a philosophical sense, you might be correct … but at least it’s currently a reasonably level playing field.

It’s tons less work to finagle your way to a computer during work (or having a family member / friend get online) vs. traveling to Telluride and attending the festival the year prior to be able to have a shot at the subsequent year. It also seems to me that “breaking in” to this system would become more and more difficult over time.

The scalpers are the ones who have the systems set up to buy tickets in bulk (not the actual consumer) and have the leg up.

The dude’s recommendation of selling tickets for next year’s festival at the current festival helps reduce the scalpers’ electronic advantage.

There is no perfect system, but as it gets more popular I think PB will have to move to non-transferable Flash Tickets…if you buy tickets you have to be there in person to get your wristband/s…if you can’t make it you can return your tickets back to PB for a refund. It’s the only thing I can think of to eliminate the anonymous scalper. People could still concievable scalp, but they would have to meet them in person and look them in the eye.

^ this

… worked very well for Phish in Telluride.

JoBu, do you think moving to electronic tickets helped or hindered scalpers in this year’s TBF ticket proces? I actually think electronic tix may have promoted the purchasing of tix by scalpers since all they have to do is email people, etc, vs. mailing hard tickets or showing up in person with the exchange.

But I want your opinion since you seem to have some good ideas on the topics.


Well I think email tickets hinder scalping in the sense that people are less likely to buy email tickets for fear of said tickets being double sold…sure the original buyers name is on the ticket, but any idiot with a PC could remove that.

What FaceOnMars and I are talking about is “flash tickets” which is different. We all have accounts at with our Credit Card info. With Flash Tickets you show up with the CC you bought tickets with (or another one tied to the same account) they scan your CC and your ticket prints out…and you get your wristband.

For Example: Phish in Denver last summer I ended up with 7 tickets under my name, 4 people were with me, 2 others met up later, then a third on the way in. They had a ticket booth outside the venue. I went, scanned my card for 4 tickets…waited for the next 2 to get there, scanned my card for those 2, then on the way in scanned my card for the last friend. Worked out great, wasn’t a real hassle at all.

It’s not going to stop scalping completely, people going to the fest could still scalp, but the anonymous full time scalpers would be out of the loop. Now the Phish shows were transferable, I could sell them and transfer the tickets to someone else.

For TBF I’m saying the tickets are assigned to your account and cannot be transferred to anyone else…so you might say JoeBu “what if I can’t go last minute and I have my groups tickets under my CC”…well if they really were your group you could give them your user/pass and they could add their CC to the account…bewm, done. All issues can be resolved in minutes with an internet connection or from a smart phone. The majority of people are not going to feel comfortable doing this with strangers…and pro-scalper are completely cut out.

I don’t see a negative (other than infrastructure costs)

I get what Flash tickets are - I’ve actually used them before.

What I’m asking if you think more amateur scalpers are getting in the game of scalping because it’s easier to sell e-tickets (the actual logistics, marketing, etc) vs the hard ticket approach.

Just trying to figure out why it’s sold out even faster this year (I believe that’s correct). Bevin’s hypothesis is also most likely accurate that social media is also to blame.

I just wonder about the whole e-ticket option.

Of course it is the 40th!

I think it’s because of

  1. Awareness from the early sell out last year.
  2. The 40th

I may be naive but I don’t think this is an influx of scalpers buying tickets today…

Yeah, that makes sense to me. thx for thinking about it.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any easy answer to this problem. But if Planet Bluegrass would offer an extended/lifetime pass, I would be one of the first to invest. Honestly, I would have absolutely no problem just stopping by will-call and buying next years ticket. I’m there anyway, and am already looking forward to coming to TBF for many years to come. :cheers

I get where people are coming from by showing their support for multiple years (or even lifetime), but as today demonstrated … there’s a limited supply and high demand.

Philosophical reasons aside (as to whether this would give a substantial leg up, and if so whether it’s fair), stop and think it through from the scalping perspective … what if there’s only 2k tickets available per year to new attendees since the other 10k are repeat / lifetime customers? Not only would it be insanely difficult for a festi-virgins or those who’ve taken a year off to score a ticket, scalpers would have a field day.

Man, no one’s talking about selling 8k tickets in person at the 40th for the 41st - but yes, some amount of tickets for the following year would be kool and the gang. The system needs to be worked out by the professionals.

I personally like the idea of selling some tickets at the festival for the following year. There are already multiple outlets and options for going to the festival, so what’s one more? I’d love to have mine locked up the year before and not have to worry about it.

That said, I say let’s have a round of applause for the PB people. It was a little slow and annoying today, but systems are always going to have growing pains and it could have been worse.

Hey just make yourself Mayor of Town Park and you can have a life time pass. Much deserved Tom BTW! I am not too sure that selling them at the fest for the next year is an answer, it limits the availability of tickets for those people that can’t make it one year. Take Ron for example, …and might I add Mr. BillyBeru might have been cut out for this year. I really like FOM and JoeBu’s suggestion as a way to cut out the scalpers! Oh BTW Billy…I would have bought you a ticket if they were on sale at this years fest! :cheers

Argh, Pirate! I’m talking a limited amount of 4 days for the following year (say, 500 to 1000), but maybe that actually isn’t fair since not everyone maybe ready to pony up the funds for the following year.

Flash tickets is no doubt the way to go.

And Pirate, I have 6 gallons of the frog sitting in my fridge. I am not joking. When are you coming to SF - I will give you 3 gallons.

Wouldn’t putting tickets on sale at the festival just make it more difficult to get tickets when they go on sale next December? I guess it would be more likely that the people who bought those tickets would actually go to the Fest, but it still doesn’t prevent scalping, nor does it solve the demand problem.

The fact that TBF is now a high profile festival but has a relatively limited capacity compared to other festivals is what draws both new fans and scalpers to the scramble to get tickets along with the rest of us who’ve been before, and unless TBF changes its location or somehow finds a way to fit a crap ton more people – something no one who has ever been to the fest would ever want, I’d imagine – this scramble is just going to keep happening.

I know today was frustrating for a lot of people, but I also know that a lot of people gave up and/or were posting on these forums as people were snapping up the few tickets that were left at the regular price. I know hindsight is 20/20 or whatever, and parts of the process were outright unfair and frustrating – particularly the business of people being able to put tickets that don’t exist in their checkout carts – but focus and determination got a lot of people tickets today, regardless of the technical difficulties. Saying this doesn’t fix anything for those who didn’t get them, nor does it account for the number of people dedicatedly online at 10 to get these tickets that were in their carts and who got shafted out of them, but it’s true. It might not be the focus and determination those people expected to put into the process, but it helped no less.

Anyway, I feel like I’m ranting now, and I reckon I’m probably not making any friends in pointing out some of this stuff.

To the point of the original post – selfishly, as someone who scrapes to be able to go in the first place and who can only go every other year, I don’t like the idea of a block of tickets already being unavailable before the official onsale in December. To me, you’d just get people all pissed off at the Festival because the “pre-sale” tickets are sold out.

Godspeed and good luck to everyone!